A Commentary on Jeremiah 10:23—Man Cannot Control His Future

O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.

- Jeremiah 10:23

O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.

– Jeremiah 10:23

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

This verse tells us that man can plan his future but he cannot control his future. This is unchangeable by anyone. We all have the experience, “Plans cannot keep up with changes.” Our future is not controlled by us, so we cannot judge what will happen in the future by our imaginations.

Though we are incapable of controlling our future, we can know God’s authority from what happens to us. Just as one passage says, “Though the various survival skills that people spend their lives mastering can offer an abundance of material comforts, they never bring one’s heart true peace and consolation, but instead make people constantly lose their direction, have difficulty controlling themselves, miss every opportunity to learn the meaning of life; and they create an undercurrent of trouble about how to properly face death. In this way, people’s lives are ruined. The Creator treats everyone fairly, giving everyone a lifetime’s worth of opportunities to experience and know His sovereignty, yet it is only when death draws near, when the specter of death hangs over one, that one begins to see the light—and then it is too late.” I realize that we do not live only for food, clothing, or shelter, but should experience God’s sovereignty and know His authority in our lifetime. Job had experienced God’s almightiness and sovereignty, so he developed a heart of reverence for God. Tempted by Satan, he didn’t sin with his lips but said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” to fight back against Satan. He stood witness for God and had the deeper knowledge of God. He died full of days.


You are welcome to use resources on Our Daily Devotionals such as Devotion for Today and Bible Devotions to enrich your spiritual life.

Who Controls Man’s Life, Death and Fate?

How to Know and Regard the Fact of God’s Sovereignty Over Human Fate

The Hymn of God’s Word “Only If Mankind Worships the True God Can They Have a Good Fate”

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